WALNUT CREEK (AP) — Contra Costa County officials are looking at raising the fine for stealing water from $25 to $250 after residents reported seeing people tapping into fire hydrants late at night, a crime that appears to be on the rise amid California’s drought.
The Contra Costa Times reports the Contra Costa Water District board also is considering installing security cameras to monitor hydrants and deter water thieves.
District spokeswoman Jennifer Allen says officials suspect people are taking the water for homes with dried-up wells.
The Times says residents aren’t the only ones taking water illegally.
The Dublin San Ramon Services District, which also supplies Contra Costa County, recently fined a street cleaning contractor and three other commercial water truck operators who filled up from hydrants sourced from fresh instead of reclaimed water, a practice that was banned during the drought.